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Grocery shopping app for at-risk Oakland residents wins campus challenge

A team of students took home first place in a campuswide contest for their grocery shopping app, Snapily, which helps Oakland residents in need to get healthy, affordable food delivered to their neighborhoods.

The competition was hosted by the Center for Information Technology Research in the Interest of Society, or CITRIS, to promote innovation, community service and career development among students at UC Berkeley.

In the semester-long challenge, 17 teams of undergraduate and graduate students worked to develop mobile apps in one of four categories: civic tech and smart communities, education, health and energy, and climate and the environment.

The winning app — “Snapily: Groceries around the corner” — is for low-income, at-risk Oakland residents who lack access to healthy food near their homes. In just a few easy steps, a user can shop online at a grocery store, pay with food stamps or a voucher from the federal WIC (Women, Infants and Children) program, and have the food delivered to a convenient pickup location. With more than 4 million California residents on food stamps and 1 million receiving WIC benefits, this app addresses a need shared by a significant section of the population.

The winners — Becca Stanger, Todor Tzolov, Irina Lozhkina and Matt Valente — received $2,500 for first place, as well as the people’s choice award for $1,000.

Team WeEat — Zachary Zeleznick, Fadi Kfoury, Ziheng Lin and Sid Feygin — won the $1,500 runner-up prize for its on-demand social scheduling platform for users to have shared meals and conversations.

Sponsors included Microsoft, IBM, AT&T, Berkeley Center for New Media, Pinterest, Social Apps Lab and the UC Global Food Initiative.

CITRIS Mobile App Challenges also are taking place at UC Davis and UC Merced. Read more about the 2015 Mobile App Challenge at UC Berkeley on the CITRIS website.